Trail report: New local trails now complete, others received needed upgrades

Posted: Friday, November 06, 2009

While the winter months are fast approaching, there is still time for community members to get out and enjoy what Juneau has to offer. Here's a roundup on the trails based on information from Trail Mix, Inc.

Courtesy Of Trail Mix Inc.
Courtesy Of Trail Mix Inc.

• Jensen-Olsen Arboretum: Recent improvements include a trail extension and upgrades to control erosion.

"We improved on a user-created trail, a trail that has come into existence because people have been walking there over the years," said George Schaaf, executive director of Trail Mix, Inc. "We also added a few log steps to control erosion that was being caused there."

He said the trail now runs from the driveway of the Arboretum out to a bluff overlooking Lynn Canal, and a new log bench offers a view of the canal and the Chilkat range, as well as frequent sightings of families of mink on the rocks below, along with sea lions and whales.

"This was done mostly with volunteer labor over the summer," Schaaf said. "Our trail crew also spent three days out there working on some of the staircases.

• Auke Lake Trail: This handicap-friendly trail is now complete.

"We finished the Auke Lake Trail this year, which is a huge accomplishment," Schaaf said. "It has turned out to be immensely popular this year."

• Sheep Creek Trail, Mt. Roberts Trail, Treadwell Ditch Trail: Received new bridges in needed locations.

Schaaf said a 25-foot bridge was built on the Sheep Creek Trail, two large bridges were constructed on the Mt. Roberts Trail, and one on the Treadwell Ditch Trail near Gastineau meadows.

• Eaglecrest Nordic Trail: Typically a winter-only trail, this loop received a top layer of crushed rock to for both users and to assist grooming machines during the winter months.

"We hardened a portion of the Nordic Loop Trail so that it can be groomed earlier and later in the season," said Schaaf. "The long-term goal is that you can ride your bike all the way from Eaglecrest down to the Treadwell ditch."

In addition to the projects completed by Trail Mix Inc. this season. The local group is now planning for 2010.

• Treadwell Ditch Trail: Schaaf said along with other plans for next year, one of the major projects will be getting work done on the Treadwell ditch.

"The city and borough of Juneau came through with some pretty significant funding for a new bridge at Lawson creek and some trail improvements along the entire trail from Blueberry hills to downtown Douglas," Schaaf said.

• Under Thunder Trail: This valley trail will connect the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to Jennifer drive and out toward the airport.

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